Category Archives: Learning

Books about Presidents

Our kids do a lot of learning outside of the classroom. One of the ways they learn is by reading. Reading i one of the fun ways to learn new things. Especially when you read non-fiction. Non-fiction books do not have to be boring, they can actually be really fun. When you are learning new, interesting, and fun things about someone that you already know something about you become more excited about that person, and about learning. That is why we are suggesting some fun non-fiction books this month. The President of the United States is someone new every 4 or 8 years. We know all of their names. We even know a little bit about some of the more popular ones. But do we know anything fun or personal about them? By learning something fun and personal about them we can learn more about them as individuals.

Master George’s People: George Washington, His Slaves, and His Revolutionary Transformation: This fun book about our first President, George Washington, covers a wide range of background on the man who led our country in one of its most important moments. It tells about him as he was during his Presidency, and just before his presidency, and just after it. It really opens up about his slaves, his involvement  in the war, and creating our nation. This is a book for grades 5-8th.

Teedie: The Story of Young Teddy RooseveltThis book follows Theodore Roosevelt and discusses him as a child. Follow along and learn about the great bull moose president’s early years and how they shaped him to lead a country.

Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of HopeThis book allows kids to learn more about our most recent president. President Obama was probably the first president many of our kids had experience with. Now they can learn more about him as a child, the way he grew up, and how he became the man at the helm of change.

Teaching Your Child: What Type of Learner is Your Child?

Every child is different, so is every parent. I learned this on day one. I have more than one kid, and I have been doing this for a while. But guess what? It never gets easier. My kids may look like near carbon copies of one another (I apparently make one type of kid, I swear they look like twins 4 years apart, minus the fact they are different genders) they are absolutely nothing alike. One is the easiest going kid you will ever meet. Is polite, outgoing, brave, ready to learn, and learns very quickly. Once is shy, a momma’s boy, takes his time to warm up to new places, situations, and people, and is smart but works more methodically. They couldn’t be more different. Its ok. It just make for a change in my parenting style with each kid. Any parent that tells you that one style works for every child, has never had more than one child. Everyone is different. I also have a very different relationship with each child. Which is ok too. My daughter is my partner. We work together, she learns alongside me as we play, work in the yard, cook, clean, workout, and read. My son needs a teacher, a mentor, someone who stands over him and guides him. It doesn’t mean he isn’t as smart, it doesn’t mean I think he needs more help. it is just the way in which he absorbs knowledge.

I taught Special Education for years before staying home to be with my own children. It helped me see that every child is different. I truly think it guided me to understand that I have no control over my kids. They are who they are. I am simply guiding them to be the best version of who they are.

When I work with them I play to their strengths and weaknesses. My daughter shadows me to learn. She has already begun clearing her own dinner from the table, making her bed, and helping to do the dishes and cook meals. She watches what we do, and she replicates it. We make sure to model things at her level. When she sees how easy it is to do something, she goes ahead and tries. By doing this with her we have shown her how to begin taking care of her own mess, and even make her own snacks. We have moved all of her food to the lowest level of cupboards and created a snack and utensil area at just her level. Now she does things for herself.

My son needs more one-on-one interaction. When we teach him a new skill we repeat it over and over. We make it a game. each step leads to the next. He even gets a sticker reward when he completes each task. This has helped him figure out how to dress himself and put away his toys.

Self-Sufficiency is a lesson that we teach everyday of our children’s lives. It doesn’t end at a specific stage. But if you find your child’s learning queues you can make it easier for everyone involved. Take a few days to watch and observe your kids. Do they need more help, less help, do they do things on their own, do they need extra motivation? No matter what type of learner they are you can help them. Just remember not to put to much pressure on yourself, being a parent is hard. But it can also be very rewarding. Especially when you can sit on the couch and watch your child get their own snack while you take a five minute break.

STEM Activities: Experimenting with Weather and Lightning!

STEM has become such an important part of science in classrooms around the country. It is not only a very important part of our current lifestyle, we use science and technology in nearly every major job now, it is also such an important part of our daily lives. This moths fun STEM activity deals with weather and lightning. Since everyone has to live in the weather, why not take a moment to get better acquainted with how it works and why its important?

This months STEM activity is from Learn Play Imagine, a great blog written and created by Mom Allison. Her little weather experiment is so much fun your kids will want to do this everyday. Not only does he teach us how lightning is made, with her instructions you and your kids can actually CREATE lightning at home.

STEM - Weather and lightning

Allison and Learn Play Imagine shares some incredibly cool insight in to lightning and weather with this experiment. We highly recommend heading over to her page to fully understand the experiment and to see step-by-step tutorial with a Youtube video to give you guidance to complete the experiment in full.

Don’t forget to check out some of Allison’s other great experiments and blogs while you are there.

Check out these 10 myths about lightning for you to share with your kids while you work:

MYTH 1 – LIGHTNING NEVER STRIKES THE SAME PLACE TWICE 
Fact: Lightning often strikes the same place repeatedly, especially if it’s a tall, pointy, isolated object. The Empire State Building was once used as a lightning laboratory, because it’s hit nearly 25 times per year, and has been known to have been hit up to a dozen times during a single storm.
MYTH 2 – LIGHTNING ONLY STRIKES THE TALLEST OBJECTS 
Fact: Lightning is indiscriminate and it can find you anywhere. Lightning hits the ground instead of trees, cars instead of nearby telephone poles, and parking lots instead of buildings.
MYTH 3 – IN A THUNDERSTORM, IT’S OK TO GO UNDER A TREE TO STAY DRY
Fact: Sheltering under a tree is just about the worst thing you can do. If lightning does hit the tree, there’s the chance that a “ground charge” will spread out from the tree in all directions. Being underneath a tree is the second leading cause of lightning casualties.
MYTH 4 – IF YOU DON’T SEE CLOUDS OR RAIN, YOU’RE SAFE 
Fact: Lightning can often strike more than three miles from the thunderstorm, far outside the rain or even the thunderstorm cloud. “Bolts from the Blue,” though infrequent, can strike 10?15 miles from the thunderstorm. Anvil lightning can strike the ground over 50 miles from the thunderstorm, under extreme conditions.
MYTH 5 – A CAR WITH RUBBER TIRES WILL PROTECT YOU FROM LIGHTNING 
Fact: Most vehicles are safe because the metal roof and sides divert lightning around you. The rubber tires have little to do with protecting you. Keep in mind that convertibles, motorcycles, bikes, open shelled outdoor recreation vehicles, and cars with plastic or fiberglass shells offer no lightning protection at all.
MYTH 6 – IF YOU’RE OUTSIDE IN A STORM, LIE FLAT ON THE GROUND
Fact: Lying flat on the ground makes you more vulnerable to electrocution, not less. Lightning generates potentially deadly electrical currents along the ground in all directions, which are more likely to reach you if you’re lying down.
MYTH 7 – IF YOU TOUCH A LIGHTNING VICTIM, YOU’LL BE ELECTROCUTED
Fact: The human body doesn’t store electricity. It is perfectly safe to touch a lightning victim to give them first aid.
MYTH 8 – WEARING METAL ON YOUR BODY ATTRACTS LIGHTNING
Fact: The presence of metal makes virtually no difference in determining where lightning will strike; height, pointy shape and isolation are the dominant factors. However, touching or being near long metal objects, such as a fence, can be unsafe when thunderstorms are nearby. If lightning does happen to hit one area of the fence. For example, the metal can conduct the electricity and electrocute you, even at a fairly long distance
MYTH 9 – A HOUSE WILL ALWAYS KEEP YOU SAFE FROM LIGHTNING
Fact: While a house is the safest place you can be during a storm, just going inside isn’t enough. You must avoid any conducting path leading outside, such as corded telephones, electrical appliances, wires, TV cables, plumbing, metal doors or window frames, etc. Don’t stand near a window to watch the lightning. An inside room is generally safe, but a home equipped with a professionally installed lightning protection system is the safest shelter available.
MYTH 10 – SURGE SUPPRESSORS CAN PROTECT A HOME AGAINST LIGHTNING 
Fact: Surge arresters and suppressors are important components of a complete lightning protection system, but can do nothing to protect a structure against a direct lightning strike. These items must be installed in conjunction with a lightning protection system to provide whole house protection.